The Army of the Gulf, Major General Nathaniel P. Banks commanding, conducted the siege and capture of Port Hudson, Louisiana in the spring and early summer of 1863. The history of the campaign is told in the book The Port Hudson Campaign, 1862 - 1863, by Edward Cunningham, published by the Lousiana State University Press.
In September, 1997 I obtained a copy of the 1889 Regimental History of the 53rd, and will be adding much new information from this source, especially the entire regimental roster, which is now complete. Thanks to Sally and Donald McClintock of Hanover, PA for finding this book and bringing it to my attention!
Also, Richard Chaisson of Athol, MA has sent me a large collection of newspaper clippings related to the 53rd, dating from 1873 to the 1920s. Some interesting tidbits from these will be added as time permits.
8/29/1999 I have just returned from a trip to Louisiana, during which I visited the area of the Bayou Teche Campaign and the Port Hudson site. I obtained lots of good primary source information which I hope to use on the web site here.
The 53rd Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry was organized at Groton, Mass., October 17 to November 6, 1862. **John W. Kimball, Colonel; George H. Barrett, Lieutenant Colonel and James A. Pratt, Major **Duty in New York, November 1862 to January 17, 1863 ** Served in the 3rd Brigade, 3rd Division, 19th Corps, February 3 to August 12, 1863.
Duty at Carrollton, LA, January 30 to March 6, 1863
Expedition to Bayou Sara, March 12
Demonstrations on Port Hudson, LA, March 13 to 20
Banks (General Nathaniel P. Banks) 1st Teche Campaign, from April 8 to May 22
Engagement at Fort Bisland and battle of the Teche, April 12 - 13
Actions near New Iberia, April 15 - 16
Siege of Port Hudson, May 24 to July 8
Actions near Port Hudson, May 24 - 25, Big Sandy Creek, May 26
Assaults on Port Hudson, May 27 and June 14
Engagements with sharpshooters, May 28
Action near Clinton, June 6
Capture of Port Hudson, July 8
Embarked for Donaldsonville July 15, reporting to General Grover operating in West Lousiana
Duty at Baton Rouge, August 2 - 12
Moved to Cairo, IL, August 12 - 19, to Massachusetts August 20 - 24
Mustered out, September 2, 1863
A brief history of the 53rd Massachusetts, taken from History of Massachusetts in the Civil War by Willaim Schouler, Boston, E. P. Dutton and Co., 1868.